Freo Traffic Bridge to Reopen (and we learnt a few things from it being closed too)
May 2, 2016 9 Comments
The good news is that Main Roads say the Fremantle Traffic Bridge is likely to be reopened in time for tomorrow morning’s peak traffic period after being closed last week for repairs. But the last three days have been instructional on a few levels.
First, it has reinforced what successive Fremantle Councils, local state members, and even Main Roads have said about the old Fremantle Traffic Bridge – it should be replaced. It was built as a temporary bridge 77years ago and is been kept safe through a $400k a year been spent on maintenance let alone the $21 million on pier protection works that have been happening over the last year. It is time for the government to invest in an iconic new bridge across the Swan between the old traffic bridge and the railway bridge.
Second, it has also demonstrated what traffic will increasingly be like in North Fremantle with the Perth Freight Link enabling the increase of traffic. The projected doubling in truck numbers and associated induced demand that building freeways inevitably create means we can expect a lot more traffic on Stirling Hwy over the next decade. There were reports of traffic on Canning Hwy backed up this morning almost as far as Petra Street and on Saturday it was a queue from the new back all the way to the old one. In otherwords it has shown that stage three of the PFL from High Street to the Fremantle Port need to be sorted out ASAP – or more sensibly an outer harbour built.
Finally, a great thing it has shown is the potential and possibility for turning the old Fremantle Traffic Bridge into an iconic highline style pedestrian bridged with cafes and greens spaces over the Swan River (as per our Freo 2029 visioning document). Despite the old bridge being passed its used by date, I love this old wooden bridge with its fishing spots and romantic construction. This past week has made me think this old bridge deserves a rest and a new more peaceful life.